about that monkey brain of yours…

Disclaimer: the word “monkey” appears in this post more than is acceptable for human consumption. Also: all monkey references are metaphorical only: please don’t put monkeys on strings.

Our brain is intended to serve us and we celebrate it: “Look at how smart I am! With the figuring and thinking and reasoning? Way to go, brain!” However, I am starting to think that the little monkey in my brain is running me around in the nastiest of ways.

I have been noticing how often that little monkey calls the shots. Thoughts leaping from tree-to-tree, making connections based on half-truths and partial information, stirring up a cavalcade of emotions, and dozens of voices insisting that their chants be heard. These monkey thoughts push me around and I have had just about enough of it.

While ruminating on this thinking thing, leadership coach extraordinaire Kendra Reddy put it this way: if the monkey is calling the shots, be the organ grinder.

Click. Thunk. Whoomp. Be the organ grinder (except without the lederhosen, those things are not very flattering). It’s about making those monkeys work for me, instead of work me over.

How to be the Organ Grinder:

Choose the song. The organ grinder chooses the song to play. What is your song? How do you want to be in your in your reality? Depending on the day, I would choose a little folk or rock or even punk, but the monkeys would have me flipping through tracks and genres moment by moment. Choose your song and stick with it.

Where are your monkeys at? Do your best Jane Goodall impression and watch the monkeys jump and roll around. Track them. Notice connections. Try not to play with them, instead sit back and study their relationships, influencers, motivators, and interactions. Make notes.

Put the monkeys on a string. If you know your monkeys, you can build structures that will calm them, distract them, and even have them dancing in time with your song. Leave little notes for the monkeys when they are a bit wild (the photo up top is a note to an especially nasty and negative monkey of mine). Have a picture or a song that reflects your reality and keeps it fresh. Erect caution signs and phone a friend in active monkey times. Or engage the services of the Embassy of Self Care.

What do you notice about your monkeys? I am willing to bet that you have well-developed monkey management strategies and I would love to hear about them.

Happy monkey-taming!


4 thoughts on “about that monkey brain of yours…

  1. Pingback: it’s like spring cleaning… | The Living Dreamboard

  2. Ron Renaud

    Monkey, monkey, monkey!

    I like the metaphor and the suggestion to put mind-monkeys on a string. Thanks for being all funky and for teaching me cool stuff. Don’t change!



  3. Cynthia Post author

    Hey Ron, I betcha you have all kind of special strings to keep your monkeys in line! Just hazarding a guess… 😉

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